The Dolan Collection has recently received two rare archival gifts.
Michael Widmer, one founding dean Carolyn Ladd Widmer’s two sons, brought us a carton of her personal papers, including memorabilia, correspondence, manuscripts, and reports, both from before her arrival in Connecticut and during her tenure as dean. An entire folder is devoted to material from and about Annie Warburton Goodrich, the founding dean of the Yale School of Nursing and Yale’s first-ever female dean. Other material includes minutes and reports related to the founding and first decade of the UConn School of Nursing.
In addition, alumna Susan Juster Viner, donated antique materia medica books for the Eleanor Krohn Herrmann Reading Room. She also has given us one-of-a-kind manuscript material: her binder of course notes from her nursing courses in the late 1950s and early 60s and two papers (patient case reports) from her time as a student.
These archival materials constitute what historians and archivists call ephemera, material culture that most people do not think of as significant and so they discard them. However, for the historian, even more than official documents or publications, these ephemera help us understand the lived experiences of real people.